KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Just in time for the start of a new school year, city and county leaders cut the ribbon on a new Lonsdale Elementary School.
The replacement building sits next to the former school on Louisiana Avenue. It was approved by the school board in 2019, as part of a five-year capital improvement plan. Many advocated for a new building after gas leak scares at the former site and concerns about overcrowding.
On Monday, parents, alongside school and local government leaders, welcomed a new start in the brand new building.
“I am blessed, overjoyed, ecstatic, phenomenal, amazed. I could go on and on,” said parent Angel Bowman.
It is an especially welcome sight for Bowman. She reached out to WATE years ago, concerned after a second gas scare at the former school building.
“When we had those gas leaks, that was the most terrifying call that a mother could ever get. And to be here, several years later, is a dream come true,” she said.
“Obviously as a building gets older, it’s going, like anything else that ages, is going to have some issues,” said Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk. “We started seeing those things start to pop up. At some point, you can’t patch things anymore. I think that’s the great thing about a brand new building, it is more state of the art. It has all the modern things we now expect in schools as well as the amenities and those kinds of things that will go with it, so we feel great about it for our students.”
Officials highlighted how the school is here thanks to a unique partnership. The City of Knoxville transferred the property to Knox County, and the school board signed off on it.
“This is a special project because it took a lot of different partners to make it happen,” said Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon.
“If that teamwork hadn’t taken place, this wouldn’t be here, especially on time like it is,” Knox County’s Mayor Glenn Jacobs said.
The building will also be the new school for Pre-K through 1st-grade students from Sam E. Hill Primary School. They, along with 2nd through 5th graders, will start in the new building on Monday, August 8.